Paul Ryan Makes A HUUUUUUGE Mistake: Now Here’s How To Make It Stick

  By Scott Wittkopf Frame4Future,.com (2/5/18) On Friday [2/2], Paul Ryan made a huuuge mistake in messaging and framing – a rarity. While he’s been called out on it so much that #crumbs trended on twitter, this gaffe opens the door for progressives and Democrats to make it stick. In doing so, people’s perception (frame) of the economy could change significantly – and help win elections in November. Most people have seen the story that went viral over the weekend. Paul Ryan tweeted the following, in support of the recently passed GOP tax scam: “A secretary at a public high school…


Gig Economy: NYC Taxi Driver Kills Himself On Steps Of City Hall After Condemning Uber & Politicians For Financial Ruin

Democracy Now! (2/7/18) New York City taxi drivers held a vigil on Tuesday to honor livery car driver Douglas Schifter, who killed himself in front of City Hall Monday morning after writing a long Facebook post condemning local politicians and Wall Street-backed apps like Uber for pushing him into financial ruin. He wrote, “I worked 100-120 consecutive hours almost every week for the past fourteen plus years. When the industry started in 1981, I averaged 40-50 hours. I cannot survive any longer with working 120 hours! I am not a Slave and I refuse to be one. … There seems…


A Contrarian View: Bernie And The Empire

    By Nick Pemberton CounterPunch (1/31/18) The au courant merch for the 2020 Presidential election begins and ends with the “Hindsight Is 2020” Bernie t-shirts. The implication of the shirt is that Bernie should have been elected in 2016. With clear hindsight, that being the 20/20 vision, we will anoint The Chosen One in 2020. Whenever I see this shirt I am reminded of T.I. rapping “Hindsight 20/20, future not as clear.” Bernie has officially started to gather his team to discuss running in 2020, with all signs pointing to him doing so. The fact that he has already…


Donald Trump Cracks The Seal On Talk Of Treason

  By Rick Wilson The Daily Beast (2/6/18) You may have noticed by now, but I’m not one to pull any punches on DonaldTrump. As a conservative, I see him as a statist abomination, a plump, be-wattled authoritarian-wannabe man-baby with the intellectual horsepower of a toaster oven. One thing we’ve learned in the last two years is that no legal, moral, or cultural strictures bind Trump and that he is immune to the better angels of human nature. The moral event horizon around him consumes the good in anyone who becomes one of his vassals. There is no better version of Trump, ever. He can only degrade and destroy everything he touches, but…


Chris Hedges On The Nobility & Sacredness Of Rebellion Against The Dystopian State

“Resistance to radical evil is the pinnacle to human existence.” – Chris Hedges By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/8/18) There is no better guide to the modern corporate state than writer and former New York Times war correspondent and Middle East bureau chief Chris Hedges. His various books – including “American Fascists”, “Death of the Liberal Class”  and “Wages of Rebellion” – deftly dissect the condition American society is in and how we got there and where – barring some form of popular uprising he doesn’t see happening any time soon – the country will wind up. Hedges is…


Russia Monitor: Our Future Hinges On Three Important Questions For Our Future…

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (2/8/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Are we all on board with getting to the bottom of what happened during our 2016 election? Is everybody as cooperative as Trump when he says he’s “looking forward” to meeting with Special Counsel Mueller? Is there more to learn with Russian influence in our election or with Trump-Russia corruption? Do we face any risk of interference in our 2018 elections? Three questions for the nation: 1) Do we risk interference in the 2018 elections? 2) Is there more to learn about the 2016 elections 3) Are we all…


After Flushing Away $850 Billion To $1 Trillion Failed Afghanistan War Continues, 16 Years & Counting

  On Point/WBUR (2/1/18) America’s war in Afghanistan has been raging for 16 years, and a new spate of violence could deal a blow to peace prospects there. Is there any way to win or get out? Highlight From This Show: ‘We’ve lost the war of the story in Afghanistan, and we can’t recover.’ “America has been at war in Afghanistan for 16 years – and the situation on the ground is a chaotic, deadly mess. Just in this week, a string of brazen insurgent attacks killed more than a hundred people. The Afghan capital is a war zone. Western aid groups are…


Nazi GOP Candidate For Congress In Illinois Has Wisconsin Connections

An old campaign photo of Arthur Jones from his race for Milwaukee mayor.   By Lois Beckett The Guardian (2/4/18) A neo-Nazi Holocaust denier is set to become the Republican nominee for a congressional seat in Illinois, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Sunday. The prospective candidate, Art Jones, is not a steadfast supporter of the Republican president. Ten months ago, in remarks filmed at a neo-Nazi retreat in Kentucky, he ranted about how Donald Trump had “surrounded himself with hordes of Jews including a Jew in his own family, that punk named Jared Kushner”. “I’m sorry I voted for the son of a…


Resisting The Resistance: Anti-Liberal Rage Brews In California’s Right Wing

  By Sam Levine The Guardian (2/7/18) In California’s Central Valley an unexpected item is popping up for sale in souvenir stores: Confederate flags. There’s a growing market for the hate symbol. “There’s been an atmosphere of comfort for folks that were holding these very extreme conservative views,” said Angel Garcia, an activist in Tulare County, an agricultural region where Confederate imagery has become commonplace in immigrant communities. While California is seen as the national leader of the liberal resistance to Donald Trump, it has also become increasingly polarized, with wars between the right and the left breaking out across the region, from…


Ex-Facebook President Sean Parker: Site Made To Exploit Human ‘Vulnerability’

  By Olivia Solon The Guardian (10/9/17) Facebook’s founders knew they were creating something addictive that exploited “a vulnerability in human psychology” from the outset, according to the company’s founding president Sean Parker. Parker, whose stake in Facebook made him a billionaire, criticized the social networking giant at an Axios event in Philadelphia this week. Now the founder and chair of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Parker was there to speak about advances in cancer therapies. However, he took the time to provide some insight into the early thinking at Facebook at a time when social media companies face intense scrutiny from…


Nearly Four Eco-Defenders Killed Per Week In 2017 Amid ‘Ruthless Scramble’ for Resources

  By Julia Conley Common Dreams (2/2/18) Nearly four people per week were killed in 2017 while defending their land and the environment from what environmental and human rights group Global Witness calls “the ruthless scramble for natural wealth.” A new analysis by the group counted 197 victims of the quest by miners, poachers, and agribusiness to take control of land around the world in order to sell natural resources—but believes many more deaths have likely gone unreported. “Until companies, investors, and governments genuinely include communities in decisions around the use of their land and natural resources, the people who dare to…


The Republican National Committee Should Just Go Ahead & Call Itself The Trump National Committee Now

  By S.V. Date The HuffPost (2/2/18) WASHINGTON ― Once the party of morality and national security, Republican leaders this week found themselves defending a casino magnate accused of coercing sexual favors and a White House attacking the FBI. Then they capped it off by putting more of their donors’ money into the president’s pocket when they held a dinner at his Washington hotel Thursday night. Welcome to the Trump National Committee’s winter agenda, say the party’s estranged members. “It’s not the Republican Party anymore. It’s the Trump Party,” said Colorado activist Kendal Unruh, who led an effort to dump then-nominee Donald Trump at…


The Clock Is Ticking — ‘Blood Clot’ Dem Leadership Not Up To The Tumputin March To Fascism

By Harvey “Sluggo” Wasserman Reader Supported News (2/3/18) The partisan uproar over the release of the infamous Nunes memo on FBI surveillance MUST be accompanied by the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns. If Trump is to be consistent about openness in government and the public’s right to critical information, releasing his tax returns is the least he can do in conjunction with this attack on the FBI. But of course that would be too much to ask of this White House, which has long since established itself as a fascist regime that hates democracy and is consistent only in…


The Russia Monitor: From Trump To Nunes To Paul Ryan To Russian Pal Carter Page, The GOP Is All About ‘Party Over Country’

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (2/5/18) Dear Fellow Readers, House Intelligence Cahir Rep. Devin Nunes’s (R-CA) memo is a belly-flop, not a blockbuster. The entire exercise was designed to give Hannity and FOX News a piece of paper to wave around as some kind of vindication for all things Trump-Russia. It was a piece of paper, and Hannity did wave it. Beyond that it was an embarrassment … a joke. Sadly it’s not that simple. The entire exercise was meant to undermine the investigation of Trump-Russia corruption, Trump money laundering and obstruction of justice by attacking the credibility of…


Nunes Played The Press Like A Fiddle. Why Do Journalists Keep Falling For This Dumb Trick?

By Monika Bauerlein Mother Jones (2/3/18) It’s a weird feeling when your organization’s reporting ends up at the center of a scandal bordering on constitutional crisis. But things have been weird, and here we are: MoJo‘s October 2016 story about the Steele dossier is a key data point in the Nunes memo (though they couldn’t even get the date right—more on that later). That inclusion, and how it came to pass, tells us a lot about journalism, propaganda, and what democracy is up against. Let’s unpack that a bit. First, propaganda: Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the Nunes episode is how effectively…


How The Brutal “Junk Values” Of American Neoliberalism Drive The Epidemic Of Depression & Anxiety In The U.S.

  Democracy Now! (2/1/18) The United States is one of the most depressed countries in the world. Could it be because of the country’s adoption of neoliberal economic policies? We speak to Johann Hari, author of a controversial new book, “Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—and the Unexpected Solutions.” He writes, “Junk food has taken over our diets, and it is making millions of people physically sick. A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that something similar is happening with our minds—that they have become dominated by junk values, and this is making us mentally sick, triggering soaring…


Paul Ryan: Secretary Getting A Whole $1.50 More A Week Shows Effect Of GOP Tax Cuts

By Daniel Marans The HuffPost (2/3/18) House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) really wants you to know how great the Republican tax cuts are. Worried that the partisan Nunes memo released Friday will undermine the FBI’s ability to do its job? Ryan is happy to remind you, ”The tax cuts are working.” On Saturday, Ryan outdid himself again with a tweet bragging about the extra $1.50 a week that a Pennsylvania secretary is making thanks to the GOP legislation. Ryan and his Republican allies are deeply opposed to increasing the minimum wage or making it easier for labor unions to organize.  “A secretary…


The 5-Minute Video The NFL Sports Industry Doesn’t Want You To See

  By Shaun King The Intercept (2/1/18) This ladies and gentlemen, is the most important highlight reel of the NFL this season. It’s also the highlight reel that the NFL does not want you to see. Like every season, this year has brought us some amazing catches, breakthrough runs, and dramatic long-range field goals. But there was another kind of record hit this season: a destructive one, with an astounding 281 concussions from the NFL preseason until today, according to the league’s own aggregate statistics. That’s the most concussions since the NFL started keeping track six years ago. The NFL has…


TPP Corporate Power Grab Is Back — And As Bad For Workers As Ever

By Duncan Roden Green Left Weekly (2/3/18) In Tokyo on January 24, 11 Pacific Rim countries including Australia reached an agreement to sign a revived Trans-Pacific Partnership (rebranded the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP). The huge free trade deal almost fell into oblivion last year when US President Donald Trump pulled his country out, citing concerns for the loss of US jobs. Australian Free Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) convener Patricia Ranald said in the revised deal, there were new provisions between Vietnam and the other countries that weakened obligations on labour rights. The deal also includes new provisions…


Working Hard To Hunt Down One Of America’s Most Notorious Nazis

Nazi Andrew Anglin. VICE News (1/31/18) Jeff Cremeans is a process server — also known as the guy who hands defendants a thick stack of court documents and says, “you’ve been served.” In his 25 years in the business, he’s been screamed at, threatened, had a chair thrown at him — he’s even driven a boat to an elusive defendant’s lakehouse to serve him. But he’s never seen someone work as hard as Andrew Anglin, the world’s most notorious neo-Nazi troll, to duck being served. Cremeans has been searching for Anglin in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, since April 2017….


Here’s How To Battle Climate Change Without Washington DC.

Frack oil train running alongside the vulnerable Mississippi River.    By Bill McKibben The Guardian (2/1/18) he most telling item in Donald Trump’s State of the Union address may have been what wasn’t there: any mention of climate change, the greatest problem the world faces. And just as telling was the fact that official Washington seemed barely to notice. Understandably preoccupied with his vile attacks on immigrants (or cheering his ability to actually stay with one task for one hour), press, pundits, and other politicians treated the omission as not even worthy of note. The Democratic response from Representative Joe Kennedy didn’t touch on…


Baltimore Cops Kept Toy Guns To Plant Just In Case They Shot An Unarmed Person

  By Michael Harriot The Root (1/30/18) In April 2016, a 13-year-old boy was shot by officers of the Baltimore Police Department. The boy ran when faced with the police, so they gave chase. During the chase, the police spotted the boy holding a gun, and when he turned, they shot the teenager. The youngster wasn’t critically injured, and it seemed like an open-and-shut case of a justifiable use of force. Now people are wondering. The Baltimore Police Department is currently in court over one of the biggest scandals in the history of American law enforcement. The corruption case is replete…


Trump, Russia, Election. Quid, Pro, Quo.

  Sanctions? What sanctions? By Charles Pierce Esquire (1/30/18) Here’s a story that you will not find in Tuesday morning’s editions of either the New York Times or The Washington Post because reasons, I guess. On Monday, when President* Trump was fitting the employees of the Department of Justice for their armbands, he also was supposed to sign a bill imposing new sanctions on Russia for its ratfcking of the 2016 presidential election. Congress voted these new sanctions almost unanimously last year. You know what’s coming, right? You don’t even need Reuters to see where the quid exchanges a warm embrace with the quo. “Today, we have informed Congress that this…


If You Want To Understand Trump, Understand This: Revenge Is What He Cares About Most

By David Corn Mother Jones (1/30/18) With the recent developments in the Tale of the Mad King—the revelations that President Donald Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller last year, that Trump was enraged that former FBI director James Comey was allowed to fly back to Washington on an FBI plane after he canned him, that Trump told FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe he should ask his wife what it was like to be a loser, that Trump has supported the release of a dodgy classified memo drawn up by Republican aides that supposedly questions a super-secret surveillance order approved by the Justice Department—there has been much…


“The Devil’s Chessboard” — Interview With Author David Talbot On The Evil History Of The CIA

  “Writing is fighting.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/1/18) Author David Talbot’s “The Devil’s Chessboard” (2015) provides an intriguing and necessary “counternarrative” to understanding American history since World War II. Talbot’s in-depth reporting exposes the bloodied cutting edge of the darkest wing of the Wall Street oligarchy. It is the nepotism and incestuous American secret corporate state that has led the nation into a parade of bloody and completely failed wars, coups and international murder and torture. From Central America to Vietnam, to Africa and the Middle East and Afghanistan the trail of bloody American failure and…


Ex-CIA Officer John Kiriakou: “The Government Turned Me Into A Dissident”

VICE News (4/2/15) In 2007, John Kiriakou became the first Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official to publicly confirm that agency interrogators waterboarded a high-value detainee, terrorism suspect Abu Zubaydah — a revelation that had previously been a closely guarded secret. Five years after this unauthorized disclosure to ABC News, the veteran CIA officer pleaded guilty to leaking to journalists the identity of certain individuals who were involved with the CIA’s rendition, detention, and interrogation program. He was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison. VICE News caught up with Kiriakou for a wide-ranging interview just a few…


Russia Monitor: Trump White House Gang Has Become The Nation’s “Normalizer Of Corruption”

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (2/1/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Which are we – a country where rule of law applies? Or a country ruled by loyalty oaths to Trump? Trump-Russia Obstruction of Justice is now a full-on GOP initiative. Is this important? Let’s answer this question and also Trump responses to Russia, GOP efforts to shield Trump and understand what happened as well as steps to protect future elections: Pompeo: ‘I have every expectation’ Russia Will Meddle In 2018 Midterms. Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, offered this: “”I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do…


Mass Extinction Of Wildlife Species Also Endangers World Food Supplies

    By Damian Carrington The Guardian (9/26/17) The sixth mass extinction of global wildlife already under way is seriously threatening the world’s food supplies, according to experts. “Huge proportions of the plant and animal species that form the foundation of our food supply are just as endangered [as wildlife] and are getting almost no attention,” said Ann Tutwiler, director general of Bioversity International, a research group that published a new report on Tuesday. “Plant and animal species that are the foundation of our food supplies are as endangered as wildlife but get almost no attention, a new report reveals.” “If there…


A Modest Proposal For Rescuing America: #ProtectTheTruth

  By George Lakoff GeorgeLakoff.com (1/13/18) America’s tweeter-in-chief plans to attack the free press next week. He desperately needs your help to succeed. You can help him by repeating his words and lies. You can help him by focusing outraged attention on his antics. Or we can work together to redirect the energy, counteract rather than react, and reframe the conversation. Here’s a way: rather than argue against him directly or waste time refuting his attacks, let’s ignore his antics and make a positive, proactive argument. While he assails the free press, let’s use our voices to honor the essential work…


A ‘Commoner’ Writes: Enough With Trump-Russia, Already!

Dan Peak’s piece on Trump’s so called “obstruction of justice”  reads to me like just one more lame edition of the sour grapes tradition of the fading Democratic Party who just can’t seem to believe that Hillary Clinton, all by her little self, destroyed her chances of winning the White House, with no need for foreign interference, thank you. But how convenient for Hillary and the totally corrupt DNC to pull Russia meddling out of their vast bag of tricks to avoid the obvious conclusions: The Party is rotten, corporate controlled, and failing. Mr. Peak’s piece also conveniently ignores the…


Donald Trump Is Worming His Way Deep Into Your Brain, Linguist Warns. SAD!

  By Mary Papenfuss The HuffPost (1/22/18) President Donald Trump is colonizing our brains with his drumbeat of repetitive words and phrases, an American linguist warns. According to George Lakoff, an emeritus professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, constant repetitions actually create physical changes in our brains by forging stronger connections in our neural pathways, “Language activates an idea and a circuitry in your brain. Every time a circuit is activated, its synapses get stronger,” Lakoff told Deutsche-Welle in an interview published Sunday. In other words, the more you hear things — and say things — the stronger the…


Progressive Principles Can Be The Source For Successful Democratic Campaigns — If The Dems Are Willing To Change

  By Scott Wittkopf Frame4Future.com (1/24/18) Let’s look into the future. There will come a time when progressives and Democrats begin to acknowledge more recent (than the 17th Century) developments in the science of thought. Political communication will account for the importance of unconscious emotion in motivating our actions, and how language can effectively frame ideas so that people not only hear, but actually accept fundamental truths about the world around them. How powerful WOULD it be if all the candidates were focused on a new, better strategy – based on science? This vision of a better, more effective strategy is nothing…


VICE Special Report: A World In Disarray

New World Disorder. Vice Special Report (10/30/17) A World in Disarray, a VICE special report, is a feature-length documentary that explores the disorder in today’s international landscape and how it plays out in four regions of conflict and tension. Starting with an exclusive interview with Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of “A World in Disarray,” the special observes America’s role in a post-Cold War world and the unfolding consequences of an “America First” policy, with perspectives from Condoleezza Rice, Tony Blair, Samantha Power, Ash Carter, and others. Several VICE correspondents and founder Suroosh Alvi…


Conservative David Frum Warns That Recovery From Trump Will Be ‘The Work Of A Generation’

  WBUR (1/16/18) The new book “Trumpocracy” catalogs the damage that top never-Trumper David Frum says the president is doing to American institutions and the presidency. That damage will last for a long time after Donald Trump, Frum, a writer for The Atlantic and a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, said in an appearance Tuesday on the NPR show On Point. “It will be the work of a generation to get them to back to normal,” Frum told guest host John Harwood of CNBC. “Because one of the things Donald Trump has done is, he’s discovered a lot of the things were never written down. They’re not laws,…


Russia Monitor: Where Oh Where To Begin? It’s Another Full Deck!

  By Dan Peak Commoner Call (1/29/18) Dear Fellow Readers, What is the biggest news of the cycle? Where to begin? This is easier to decide if the question is what was the biggest category of news? The answer would be Trump-Russia corruption obstruction of American justice. In addition, maybe we can cover other categories and news like confirmation of the U.S. intelligence services statements of Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Maybe an update about new sanctions against Russia imposed by Congress and finally ready for enactment. Maybe we could cover the latest on House Intelligence chair Rep. Devin Nunes’s…


The End Of Net Neutrality Brings Us The Grip Of The Oligarchy

  By Andre Damon World Soialist Web Site  (12/15/17) The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted Thursday to overturn rules, known as net neutrality, that required internet service providers (ISPs) to treat all data on the internet the same and prohibited them from limiting or blocking users’ access to web sites and services. The ruling heralds a new age in internet communications, where giant internet and technology monopolies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast regulate what information people have access to. Since the emergence of broadband internet, the Federal Communications Commission had de facto operated under net neutrality principles, including a 2005 declaration that…


WARNING: War Never Ends

“All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory . . . . Memory is haunted, not just by ghostly others but by the horrors we have done, seen, and condoned, or by the unspeakable things from which we have profited.” ― Viet Thanh Nguyen


‘Doomsday Machine’ Author Daniel Ellsberg Says Americans Have Escaped Self-Annihilation By Luck

PBS News Hour (12/21/17) The military analyst turned whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers looks at the existential threat of America’s nuclear capacities in his new memoir, “The Doomsday Machine.” Very little has changed, says author Daniel Ellsberg, when it comes to what he calls the immoral and insane policies regarding nuclear weapons. William Brangham sits down with Ellsberg to discuss the looming danger. Link to 7-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )  


Take It From Tech Insiders: Silicon Valley Is Eating Your Soul & Society

  By John Harris The Guardian (1/1/18) One source of angst came close to being 2017’s signature subject: how the internet and the tiny handful of companies that dominate it are affecting both individual minds and the present and future of the planet. The old idea of the online world as a burgeoning utopia looks to have peaked around the time of the Arab spring, and is in retreat. If you want a sense of how much has changed, picture the president of the US tweeting his latest provocation in the small hours, and consider an array of words and…


CARTOON: The World’s Ugliest American Becomes America In Retreat.

In word and deed, Donald Trump personifies the American ignoramus abroad. By Richard North Patterson The HuffPost (1/23/18) One year into the Trump administration, as our president prepares for his trip to address the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, here is the dynamic abroad: no foreign enemy could have degraded America’s global standing so completely in so short a time. In word and deed, Donald Trump personifies the American ignoramus abroad. He insults foreign leaders in tweets, then melts in their presence. He switches positions based on personal flattery. He parades his ignorance of geopolitics. His erratic behavior and bellicose…